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Document 1685

Interview with group of women in Clydebank 1

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F1213 I marched into the offices and said I was a naval worker, at least an admiralty worker, and this was an admiralty yard, could they give me a job? And they said "oh yes", so I had to go see the doctor. He al- always had a big clinic there but everybody had to pass the doctor before they went into the yard, men and, well there was no women in the shipyard. In the fourteen-eighteen war you had women in in engineering and they came back again in the next war to do engineering, but no women had ever worked actually in the shipyard side. So, I went up and saw the doctor, who was a Scotsman, and er, he said, "what were you doing?" I said, "well, I was being trained for inspection work in in the admiralty." I said, "I think they knew there was a war coming on and we were well trained before." He said, "Do you know there's a job going in the shipyard. They're looking for someone with experience." I said, "I've not, I've never worked in a shipyard." He says, "No, but you know what shipyards are." I says "Oh yeah, I'm Clyde, Clyde born and bred. [laugh] I know all about shipyards," so he said "I'll send you to the shipyard manager and er I went and saw him and he offered me the job to start all the women in the shipyard. First of all I had to go through a sort of rigorous test. "What's the difference between a shipyard welder and a caulker and a plumber?" But I knew them all. You live in Clydebank, his Daddy's a caulker, her Daddy's a welder, you know sheet-iron worker and so on. But the biggest job was... The women in Barrow, they had no industries there. In Clydebank we had Singer's and all the different little factories and or you went to Glasgow to work, but in Barrow, which was in a peninsula, when the girls left school, if they had qualifications they went nursing or into the offices in Barrow, but the majority went maybe into domestic service or they waited until they were old enough and the first thing they did they got married. [laugh] And I never saw so many young brides. But however, er, I was told this is going to be a difficult job because the women are not used to industry here, but do you know, they were, they were really marvellous and I think what made them good was the men looked after them because the-they were wives of somebody they knew or something like that, but they had to work and it was, when they came into, I was given this office with a big knee hole desk. I felt really pompous sitting behind it. And I got a dozen girls at a time every morning. I think I started about two thousand all together. And, er, the first lot that came in taught me a lesson. I, er started to explain that I would pick them out, those that I thought would be ideal for the joiner's shop. Well, I mean, you get, you look at girls, and you sort of think she looks too frail, she would never be able to carry a sheet, iron sheet, with the men? I'll stick her in the joiner's shop, or else I'll get her a job in the foreman's office or something like that. And er I started this spiel, you know, told them, and I said "you'll get boiler suits which you'll have to pay for of course, but you don't have to pay for them right away, you'll get them taken off your wages." And your wages'll be such and such. Gave them all the spiel. Anyway, when I'd finished I looked at them all and I thought there was an awful vacant look in some of the faces and I said, "Do you understand what I'm saying to you?" and this one said, "Eee no love, but it was lovely." //So I had to adopt [laugh] more of an English accent. [laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 It was so funny, you know. I never forgot it. I thought that's lesson number one, Mary. //You're no longer Scots. [laugh] And er, but...//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1210 So what kind of jobs were the ladies actually doing?
F1213 Well, they were mostly labouring with the sheet iron workers. //There was//
F1214 //That's right.//
F1213 caulkers,
F1214 Shipyards.
F1213 that was packing caulking in between the ships and er plumbing, labour- plumbers' labours. Then, they made great welders //because they had a better touch//
F1214 //Welding as well.//
F1213 than the men,
F1210 Mm.
F1213 you know, what you call
F1210 //Yeah.//
F1208 //Whereabouts...?//
F1213 and they, they really make good welders. And then in the joiner's shop, that was, that was about the best job, I mean you're in a nice warm place and the smell of the wood, it was lovely. And they were doing aircraft pa- parts or something at that time and actually, the bomb, you've you've heard of the bomb that rolled and er //the Dam Bomb?//
F1214 //Oh yes, uh-huh.//
F1213 Well, I really think that's where it was made but we didn't know what they were making, no one knew what they were making
F1214 [?]The bouncing bomb, Wallis[/?].
F1213 and then eh there were also so many girls who were doing work that was related to the ships. And most of the girls were working on the ships and I I had two assistants help me er, both nurses, but one couldn't st- one couldn't stand the pace, she had to leave, but the other one and I just carried on the two. Agnes was a a sister in a hospital and she gave it up to come into the yard with me and we got on like a house on fire. We were the greatest of friends and erm everyday we had to go on every ship that was being built and it wasn't a yard where everything was in the one place. Er there was Barrow and then there was Barrow Island and the ships were round here and then they sailed right round to get fitted out here, you see. So that you were on the go all the time. I think I must have walked miles and miles everyday. Maybe that's why I'm healthy. //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 I can't think, everyday we had to go on the ship, but the the men were really good with the girls, you know? They weren't soft with them, they had to work, but they were, they were good with them, er you know? They looked after them. Saw that there was no hanky panky or nonsense or anything. //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 The only time that we had any worry was, we were told that there was one girl who was pregnant on a ship and I said to Agnes, "We'll have to get her off there." And she said, er "I'll go and see her." She says "I'm not coming off this ship" she says, "You can't make me. This is my job and I love this job and I'm staying." So, Agnes came back with this tale and I started looking up all the do's and don'ts and there was nothing to say, from government or anywhere that you could, you could sack a woman for this or you could employ them for, you know different things. But there was nothing to say about women having babies, except that it was advisable to let them go at a certain time. But, this one, they didn't say that you could refuse to go or that you could make them go. Anyway, oh, it went on and on. We were sweating every time we went to the ship. //I said, "She's going to have that baby on that ship. Agnes, it's your job, you're the nurse." Anyway, we got her off, just about that last week.//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 Her husband was in the forces and I think the girl needed all the money she could get because she was in digs, but er [laugh] that was the only incident that we had, as far as was concerned. But, I'll tell you a laugh [laugh], I used to go up on this ship every day and as I was going up the gangway I used to hear this young boy shoutin "Watch it lassies, here's haggis coming". And at first it didn't dawn on me, and then I thought, "Oh haggis? That's me." And could I capt-, kept watchin? No. One day, as I was going up, he must have been a bit slow in seeing me. And I happened to see this other lad go up and nudge him and then he turned round, you see, and I thought, that's him. His pal's givin him the n-. If he speaks, I know it's him and he quickly turned away and shout down the the ship "Hiya lassies, here's haggis". And it was only a bit of fun, but at the same time it wasn't very nice in a way for me and er I walked up to him and I said "Have you ever been to Scotland?" He said, "No". I said, "Well I'm going to tell you something. You go after the war and get your education. Because there's no such a thing as a woman or a a female haggis." I said, "The male is a haggis, and the female's a haggai." //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 "And I'm a haggai." Well there was the old men round about, they were in fits lauging at this and one, I always remember this one looked and he says, "The silly bugger, I knew she would catch him." //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 But I never, I never made anything of it. I said "It's got to stop now", and every time he passed me in the shipyard he'd go click. //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1213 And then one day he said "Thanks for not reporting me to the foreman." [laugh] I said "You're a bit late", I said "I could have had you out the gate yea-, months ago. He was really a nice lad, you know, but you got all those wee incidents. And then, I was also er put on to the Court of Referees, I don't know if you've ever heard of the Court of Referees, where people go to fight their cases. Maybe a woman's got called up and she can't go because she's got too big a family or something like that but we've got to judge whether she can give so many hours, you know, in the war, in war work in a week and that sort of thing. The Court of Referees, the record, there were two things that was in, the Court of Referees and something else, anyway... But eh the Chairman of that crowd was a, a Colonel, a retired Colonel. You had all these people and all these jobs you know, retired people come out and did these jobs. And then we repr- I represented the the firm which was quite a big responsibility but I loved it, you know, always up to some, there's always something going on. But I was awful glad when the w-w-war was over because we worked three nights til half past seven. That was from half past seven in the morning til half past seven at night, three nights a week erm every Sunday and every second Saturday off. It was...
F1210 It was long hours.
F1213 it was long hours, long long hours, but you just did it. Unfortunately Barrow was blitzed but not badly. Nothing like the Clydeside, I mean, I landed in Barrow with just the clothes I stood up in. My whole family did, cause we had gone up to, my mother wouldn't move til we had been up to the town hall and by time the family all got together it was late on and they couldn't give us a thing and my mother wasn't going to have us all separated. So my husband said er he'll, he'd phone down and his parents said "come down there, come down to Barrow", so we all landed down in Barrow. They handed us our chitty to get on the train, they paid our fare. Anyway, they were so glad to get rid of us I think cause they were having a terrible job finding places for people and this was a family of six. So m-m-my father started work right away, so did my brother and my sister she, she had worked in an office somewhere in Glasgow, I forget. And erm we were all eh sort of on war work before we arrived there so it was no job, no difficulty get a job, we all started work the following week and my mother took over a furnished house. And we were there for months and then they sent for my father and my brother to go back home. So we thought "Oh this is great, we're going home too", you know but my sister and I were told "no way". [laugh] We, we weren't allowed and you couldn't argue with them. So eh I think my sister did get away, she sat some exam and went into the Home Office in London but erm it was very difficult, if they said you know, "we need you here" you were stuck there. So I was stuck but I loved Barrow. I lived there for about ten years. When the war was over eh they said to me "Would you like to carry on in the personnel department?" and I said no. I thought, I'm getting on, I was getting for thirty, or two, or something like that by that time and I thought if I'm going to have any family I want it now, not when I'm older. I waited four years [laugh] I could have been working that four years. However, yeah, I really loved it. I thought Barrow, the people were good, they were very, very good to us. Circumstances up here, my father was i-, became sort of invalided with his chest so my husband and I had to come back to look after him. I was sorry but I still love Barrow, made a lot of friends down there and er there's only two of us left now, she's ninety-two and er the rest have all gone. [laugh]
F1214 You still got a sister? Have you still got your sister?
F1213 She's out er in Australia. //She, she//
F1214 //Oh.//
F1213 married in Australia when she was working in the Home Office. She met this Australian and married him. She's eighty-nine. My youngest brother is eighty-four er eighty-five there last week. My sister's eighty-nine, my brother who lives in the Faifley is ninety-two in April.
F1208 They're good genes, aren't they?
F1210 //Yeah.//
F1213 //And I'm// ninety-four come November.
F1214 Wow, what a memory!
F1213 So the four of us are all still going strong. Must be, must be something good about Clydeside.
F1214 We're just young things. [laugh]
F1213 I was, I was born in Agamemnon Place above the Park Bar. That's why I drink. //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1214 Park Bar?
F1213 Up abo- I don't think the Park Bar was there at that time, I don't know, they tell me it wasn't but I've no idea. But, I just, you know these houses just above the Park Bar? //My mother said she had a lovely...//
F1214 //I know where the Park Bar is.//
F1213 my mother owned a wee, ran a wee eh vegetable, fruit and
F1214 Oh aye.
F1213 flower shop, just right opposite Agamemnon Place for years and then she gave it up when my dad went to Canada. We were all supposed to go there but he didn't like it and came back so.
F1214 That happened to a lot of families, my grandmother's side went to America and Canada.
F1213 But I lived in Partick, all, the four years he was in Canada I lived in Partick. I was at Thornwood school and then passed my qually into Hyndland, the Hyndland High School in those days and er when he came home we all came back here.
F1214 Ah that was good, aye.
F1213 Except me, I stayed with my grandmother because I was at sc-, they reckoned that, she needed somebody er...
F1214 Just like me.
F1213 in school and it was a critical point, so not that it did me any good. So that's my story of shipyard life.
F1210 Yeah.
F1213 See, I owe something to the Clydeside.
F1210 Yeah.
F1213 Although I never worked in a yard here, I knew all about yards, my dad was an engineer in, in... All I've, all my friends, their dads were something in shipyards, you know? We-we knew what they were doing.
F1210 Had Scotland changed much when you came back?
F1213 No, it was still, well, it was all, all blitzed when I //came back.//
F1210 //Yeah.//
F1214 //Oh, very bad//
F1213 It was a mess, you know?
F1214 Clydebank.
F1213 Eh I lived in [?]Old Mount Row[/?] and our house got a whole stick of bombs right through, like incendiaries, and it just went "whoosh!". //All my wedding presents went up in smoke.//
F1214 //[inaudible] were the worst [inaudible]. I wasn't here.// I was in Knightswood at the time. [inaudible].
F1209 Were you both here during the blitz?
F1213 Yes.
F1214 I wasnae here. I lived in Knightswood, Glasgow.
F1213 I must come and listen to her.
F1212 I wasn't, I lived down the hill, you know, during the blitz.
F1213 Change seats with me.
F1208 Would you like me to move the...
F1213 I want to listen to both your stories.
F1214 Oh right. [laugh]
F1212 I don't think I have that //much to tell.//
F1208 //I'll bring the chair across.//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //If I start I'll go on all day so... [laugh]//
F1213 Well, I, I love to hear people's...
F1209 Interesting.
F1213 Even if you've been in jail. [laugh]
F1214 Oh no, I have, that's one thing, I have not been in jail. //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 //Oh, it's an experience.//
F1214 //[?]I would be![/?]//
F1212 //Well I was born in Clydebank in// in nineteen twenty-two, and er [inaudible] I don't know, you wouldn't know the [inaudible].
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 But I moved up to Radnor Park, do you know where Radnor Park is now? Believe it or not I'm only about a hundred yards from where I was really brought up er where I live now. But er it's a different Clydebank, it's a different Clydebank. Actually, it wasn't a, it wasn't as they say a lovely town but er there were a lot of work, and I always worked in Singer's. I mean I started as a a message girl and I just carried on and [inaudible] we had to do a lot of er war work. I never knew what I was doing, I never knew what the parts were for. //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1213 //[laugh]// //Did you never ask?//
F1214 //Oh!//
F1212 They couldn't tell me anyway. [laugh] It was a small part that you had to keep er getting the right size but that's all I knew about it believe me. But I don't know what else I could tell you. Anything, can you think of anything else?
F1210 Tell me about your childhood, what was that like?
F1212 My childhood? Oh well, I was certainly brought up in Clydebank, and, I went to the school nearest us, which was Bocquanaran, it went in the Blitz of course and, then we went to high school but, eh we were really, y-you played, like, a lot of... I tell you one thing, children played outside. //Yeah,//
F1210 //Yes.//
F1212 //yes, they played outside, they//
F1213 //Oh, we were far happier.//
F1212 there were n-no-not a thing you ever thought of sittin in the house when there were games outside. And your games took you from, you could play, you could play peever for quite a while, peever, you know kicking the... right, you see you've never had that. This was just a game ye, ye it was like hopscotch.
F1210 Okay.
F1212 It was like hopscotch, but if you, if you were kind of well off you got a lovely piece of eh stuff to play with, a lovely bit of stuff.
F1210 //Okay.//
F1208 //Ah right.//
F1214 Uh-huh, then we had the ropes as well, that's right.
F1213 Getting home from school at fifteen and sixteen and changed your clothes and went out to play, //and I mean play.//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]// Uh-huh.
F1213 And it was all peever, skip and oh two //ropes.//
F1210 //Even at fifteen and sixteen?//
F1212 Oh you played with balls, I mean, you had certain seasons for doing all these things and I never knew who started it, just one person started it. //Yes.//
F1213 //There was a season for everything,// //it was, remember the, remember the tops and your whip?//
F1212 //It was a season.// Oh, that was a wonderful thing, yes. And we always kind of painted the tops, you know, with crayons and things, but, I was going to tell you about the... it was a nice childhood. //A lot a lot, we were poor.//
F1213 //I think there, we had an awful hard, we were poor,// //there was an awful lot of poverty.//
F1212 //A lot of poverty.// A lot of poverty in the late twenties, nineteen-twenties and thirties, but, eh I-I don't know, I think people were happier but, eh, the children eh, everyone played outside, nobody sat inside you wouldn't have dreamt of sitting in the house.
F1213 You weren't allowed to sit in, were you, when you came home from school. Get out and get the fresh air.
F1209 Even in the winter time?
F1212 Yeah, the wintertime? Oh you never stayed in.
F1213 You know these two pound tins of pears and peaches? If if you were lucky enough, your mother bought one for Sunday tea or something like that. You used to put a rope through them and stand //on them, and walk.//
F1214 //Oh, I remember.//
F1213 Do you remember that? Do you remember them?
F1210 Stilts.
F1214 //And stilts, there were stilts.//
F1213 //Foot on top of the, and then you used to walk with the two.// //And the stilts.//
F1212 //You had the stilts too, you had stilts.// I mean you did a lot, you did a lot of things when you think about it. //We were never still.//
F1213 //No, we were never still, no.//
F1208 Why do you think society's changed? Why do you think children are indoors more often now?
F1213 Pardon?
F1208 Why do you think society's changed? Why do you think children are inside more? Do you think it's, sort of, they've got more things to play with, or...? //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1213 Well, just now they reckon that children are suffering vitamin D, lack of vitamin D, and that's the daylight. They're not going out, they're coming home, in front of computers, instead of goin out and gettin the sun. Sun! [laugh]
F1210 //In Scotland.//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 They use it in school nowadays, they've got to do so much of it. They've got, they do a lot of their homework on their computers now.
F1212 Oh yes, don't they?
F1213 They play too many games on them.
F1212 Remember too on a Sunday. You went to the church first, you always had to go to church on Sundays, you had to do that and then you'd go down to the public park and you'd have a walk there. You didn't, you didn't play so much on a Sunday, you weren't allowed to play, you went out, you went, you had to do that and then you...
F1213 We had an awful lot going for us. Do you remember the kinderspiel? //That was a, like,//
F1212 //Oh yes, we had lots of things.//
F1213 a small opera but, like opera really in a way. The [?]Island of Balkiss[/?] that was one that we, and Princess Chrysanthemum,
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//
F1213 and they put on wee shows, and it was all children, maybe different churches or something like that, they used to put on, everybody used to go to these shows, you know, and they were wonderful and it was good for the kids.
F1214 I think they're still, they're still doing that. Cause my grandson's doing Romeo and Juliet, in the high school.
F1213 Are they? //Oh but that's er Shakespeare.//
F1214 //Uh-huh.// Yes, Shakespeare, uh-huh. But they do other shows as well in the school. //I think they've still got that a bit.//
F1213 //No, this was// singing, you know, this was a singing thing. Cause, there was, there was one song nearly drove my mother up the wall. And w-we all used to walk round and, and it was the, the princess was dying, this Japanese princess you know and it was "sad and weary" [laugh] and we were all [laugh] well you, she used to open the door and say "get out!". //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]// You look back at, they were, they were good days. //Oh you had//
F1213 //And picnics.//
F1212 you had bad days, but you don't remember that, you don't [inaudible].
F1213 My mother and father used to take us on a Sunday during the holidays, over the Faifley, before the Faifley was built of course and it, we called them the wee hills over there to the Drymen and right away to the [inaudible] for a picnic. W-we were great picnic people in those days.
F1212 Mind you went over the moors? Everyone went over the moors at Eastertime.
F1214 Well I did, cause I lived in the Western Highlands during the war. I didn't know there was a war on.
F1212 //Oh but the kids were all//
F1213 //And you// and do you know another thing that I was, [laugh] I'm rubbin it in to you young people, it's a shame. I never knew anyone in my class or any class, that couldn't read and write.
F1214 No that's true.
F1213 They're leaving school at fourteen to-, fifteen today and some of them can't read and write. There's something wrong. There is something wrong.
F1212 There is something wrong.
F1213 We talk about it, our generation, we never, none of us knew anyone, eh, unless they were dyslexic and we didn't even know that, that there was something wrong. We didn't know about dyslexia, but the average child might be thick but it would be able to read and write... and add up. I don't know.
F1209 What was your schools like then?
F1213 Then, every teacher that we had had a degree. They were all university, every one, even in junior school.
F1214 I was in one school and, from the primary right up till fourteen year old, in the Highlands it was just one class, big class, one teacher and, when I got to the age of twelve, thirteen, fourteen I used to help the, the young ones with reading their books and so forth. And they all came on like that but I loved doin that, it was great. So I didn't know there was a war on when I was up in the Highlands. //I was there from nine- the//
F1212 //Did you not?//
F1214 actual year the war started and er, my grandmother had a business up there and I was evacuated up there.
F1212 We ended up that we we, after the [inaudible] two, two nights, we ended up in Arrochar.
F1214 Arrochar, aye.
F1212 We stayed in this hotel well it was a-an annexe off it and I never was so cold in my life [laugh] frozen, misery, you had no clothes no. You'd taken a suitcase and you took things that you had to take and maybe one. But no-no-no coats but anyway, they came round, I mind they brought a lot of clothes for people to try on. I don't know where they got the coats from, they must have been in the first world war because I never seen such old fashioned coats in my life, they were down to your ankles. Of course you didn't wear them then you were up just below your knees but, eh, you couldn't get clothes of course during the war and that was it. You never get stockings, that was another thing too, you had to paint your legs. //Yes you pa-,//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //Yes, you had to put a line down//
F1212 //you tanned your legs.// //You had a bottle, you had a bottle//
F1214 //the back of them. [laugh]//
F1213 //[laugh]//
F1212 and you rubbed in on your legs. And eh, that was it. No stockings.
F1214 You went to the dancing and instead of putting stockings on, you put tan on.
F1212 You went to the dancing and we were always looking for things to wear, to change eh some people [inaudible].
F1213 It's much better today, yes, there's no doubt about it. You live in luxury compared to what we did, and why not? [laugh]
F1214 They were happy days without television or anything else. We made our own fun. //We made our own fun.//
F1212 //Oh aye. You didn't have any// you didn't have any, really, eh, I remember when we got a radio and, eh and it didn't work by electricity, it was a kind of, of battery thing. And I remember taking it to this man. I mean, nobody else would ever let a child take this stuff, it spilled acid. But you took this to the, the, a man across the road and he charged it. And that was your, that was your radio. Cost a [inaudible] it, it would be about a farthing, what they say now, but, eh, that was good. That was, I mean, that was really young and, I remember when we got on to the electric light [inaudible] thought we were [inaudible]. Anything else.
F1210 What kind of things did you listen to on the radio?
F1212 On the radio? Well you used to listen to, believe it or not, there was a wee programme...
F1214 //ITMA.//
F1213 //We used to get great plays.//
F1208 Are you still a...?
F1213 I used to love the plays they used to put on great plays on a Saturday night.
F1212 And I I was never good at watching plays.
F1210 No?
F1213 There was one in America. This is, this is the gospel. [laugh] I couldn't believe it, but it is true. There was a play on, eh, this must have been before the war but, it was eh... I don't know, the, sort of like the men from Mars or something like that, invadin America. And it was so real that the people ran screaming from their houses.
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh.//
F1213 //Mind you it could only happen in America.//
F1214 I remember that, aye. //Uh-huh.//
F1213 //Do you remember that?// //Yeah?//
F1214 //I remember that.//
F1213 Yeah, we thought that was funny. But, I mean it was so, they wouldn't, they didn't give it to us, we never got the play.
F1212 [laugh]
F1213 They weren't gonna risk it. But the Americans were running out their houses. Sure it was real, you know, they were, they didn't realise. They say it was the most wonderful put over play, but it was the wrong folk. They should have given it to the Scots, you know, we'd have said "Oh". [laugh]
F1214 Well it was, it was funny to us but not to them.
F1212 I mind my aunt came back from America eh, on the first boat, and she brought trunks across. Oh, it was the most wonderful thing. We all had all these clothes oh, we were dressed, we were dressed for such a long time after that. She brought about, was it about five or six trunks? How she got them all over... It was a big ship that came. That was the first ship she came over with and, eh she went to see, you know, where, where, where she had lived a long time and things. Not the same Clydebank... //Of course everything changes.//
F1210 //Did she work there?// Did she work there?
F1212 She worked, she, yes, before the w-, before the, the first, during the first world war, she worked, eh, she worked in Singer's too. I think the whole of the family worked in Singer's at that time and, eh I remember her, eh, her son telling us, he was in the American army. And he knew all about Clydebank because his mother and father came from it. And they spoke about Clydebank, and he said, he landed at Greenock docks, you know, during the war.
F1213 Uh-huh.
F1212 And they, they put them on trains and believe it or not the trains passed Singer's, you know we had a huge clock, you've seen the pictures, Singer's clock, and, eh he said to, he said to the other soldiers that was there "my, my what a neighbourhood" and they said "how would you know that?" he said "because I know that clock". [laugh] I know that clock but you know it was, it was, it was fine.
F1213 Course our mothers never went out to work. //Because there wasn't//
F1210 //No.//
F1212 //No.//
F1213 enough work for men, never mind women.
F1214 Well, unfortunately my mum had to. She was divorced during the war.
F1213 Pardon?
F1214 My mum was divorced during the war.
F1212 That was quite an unusual thing.
F1214 The thing was, we were separated. My two sisters went to Arbroath, evacuated to Arbroath. And, and at that time I was with my grandmother and, eh... what happened after that?
F1212 You hardly heard of a divorce in our days, did you?
F1214 It was really sad when my mother and father broke up //and, eh//
F1213 //Sad.//
F1214 I stayed up in the Highlands until I was twenty-five, to look after my grandmother as well, and I helped in her business as well. But eh, I had sad days as well but I didn't have anything to do with the war, I didn't know anything about the war at that time. //[inaudible].//
F1213 //My grandmother lost four sons in the first world war.//
F1214 Oh my.
F1213 My grandmother, she had ten of a family, six girls and four boys and she lost four boys during, the fourteen-eighteen war. It was awful that, wasn't it?
F1214 So my mum had, she joined the WAAFs. She had gone into the munitions factories and my mum had a bad chest at that time with my dad being away, she had to go in to one or the other, so she was away five years. So I hadn't any parents for five years more or less. So I'd quite a sad time as well. If I'd had a happy time it would've been a lot nicer then but I don't want to go back to it. I'd never like to go back to that again.
F1208 After the war did you see your parents often? Even separately?
F1214 Yes. When I came back, there was two sisters, and they were all a bit strange with one another. But that was fifteen years I'd been out my ho- mother's home, and when we got together it was that wee bit strange. It took a wee while to get to know one another.
F1213 What a shame.
F1214 But that was the war too, //that broke up families as well.//
F1212 //Yeah.// Exactly.
F1213 No, you didn't really hear much at all about divorces, did you? I mean, you certainly didn't have partners in those days.
F1212 Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, oh God no.
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //Well especially my grandmother.//
F1213 //[laugh]// Oh, we were very, lots of things we were very narrow.
F1214 Very narrow minded, my grandmother was anyway. My mother was very modern in her outlook.
F1213 Course it was, the way the things were, and another thing, children today are healthier that what our crowd were. Cause I mean, the money, well, they couldn't get any other... //I know but//
F1214 //I don't know, what age are you and what age am I?// //I used to be quite healthy.//
F1213 //I'm talking about an average.//
F1214 I, but, I know, I know. There was quite a lot of problems.
F1213 We've been lucky. We must have been well fed.
F1214 Yes, I definitely was well fed on the farms. //[laugh]//
F1212 //Well, I know we were always well fed.//
F1213 //My mother// we, we had soup everyday till I began to look like a plate of soup.
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //I mean it wasnae// //excitin food mind you, but it was food.//
F1210 //No, mm.//
F1213 But, eh the family next door to us, they had that, they had tinned evaporated milk for their //tea,//
F1214 //Oh uh-huh.//
F1212 //Oh I hated that.//
F1213 //and I thought they// were awful well off, I was dying for a piece an that evaporated mi-, [laugh] and I used to say "It's not fair mum, they can get evaporated..." I di-, I didn't realise that we were getting real milk, my mother wouldn't have evaporated milk.
F1212 I mind I had this girl and she used to have, she used to get a piece and condensed milk.
F1213 That's right.
F1214 Condensed milk. //You made the tablet with that.//
F1213 //Uh-huh.// I thought that was wonderful milk.
F1212 We bought it because it was cheap.
F1210 [someone comes to take orders for tea and coffee]
F1213 Coffee please, dear.
F1214 Tea.
F1210 Oh none for me, I don't want one, thank you.
F1208 Oh we'll go with tea. [laugh]
F1213 Do you drink tea?
F1210 No. I don't drink either.
F1208 I only drink water.
F1209 Thanks very much. That was lovely.
F1214 We could go on and on, but there's not much time.
F1209 Very interesting.
F1212 I used to know it quite well.
F1210 Yeah. It's very historic, compared to Glasgow.
F1213 Lovely, lovely scenery too. I must say I like York. I like Yorkshire, York Cathedral. Do you like up here?
F1210 Yes, very much so, yeah.
F1213 I married an Englishman too.
F1210 Did you?
F1213 Just to show there was no ill-feeling.
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 A Sassenach.
F1213 When I'm away anywhere and they say er "English?" you know, and I'll say, "Scottish", you know, "but British", I always say British, I think it's more important to say British than anything. //My mother//
F1210 //So where was he from?//
F1213 was English. She was born down in, er er right across from Calais.
F1210 Erm Dover? //Dover?//
F1209 //Dover?//
F1213 //Where do you get the ferry to go over to...? Dover. Dover. Dover. [laugh] I couldnae think of Dover.// My mother was born in Dover Castle! [laugh] No she was born, it says on her birth certificate Dover Castle, but what it was, her father was in the army, he was a regimental sergeant major, and she was born there. And oh my sister, when she was young, she used to tell everyone. She used to [inaudible]. "My mother was born in a castle." //[laugh]//
F1210 //[laugh]//
F1209 //[laugh]//
F1208 //[laugh]//
F1214 //[laugh]//
F1212 //[laugh]//

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APA Style:

Interview with group of women in Clydebank 1. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1685.

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Information about Document 1685

Interview with group of women in Clydebank 1

Audio

Audio audience

Adults (18+)
General public
For gender Mixed
Audience size N/A

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous
Special circumstances surrounding speech recording was made as part of Aiming University Learning @ Work employability project, run by Department of English Language

Audio footage information

Original title AUL@W project oral history recording with group of women in Clydebank
Year of recording 2010
Recording person id 1208
Size (min) 39
Size (mb) 150

Audio setting

Private/personal
Geographic location of speech Clydebank

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Acquaintance

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 1208
Year of transcription 2010
Year material recorded 2010
Word count 6482

Audio type

Interview

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1208
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1980
Educational attainment Highers/A-levels
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Catholicism
Occupation Student
Place of birth Hartlepool
Region of birth Cleveland
Country of birth England
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Doctor
Father's place of birth Swinton
Father's region of birth Yorkshire
Father's country of birth England
Mother's occupation Nurse
Mother's place of birth Stockton
Mother's region of birth Cleveland
Mother's country of birth England

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
French Yes Yes Yes Yes a little

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1209
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1990
Educational attainment Highers/A-levels
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Student
Place of birth Bellshill
Region of birth Lanark
Birthplace CSD dialect area Lnk
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Hamilton
Region of residence Lanark
Residence CSD dialect area Lnk
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Teacher
Father's place of birth Bellshill
Father's region of birth Lanark
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Lnk
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Teacher
Mother's place of birth Lanark
Mother's region of birth Lanark
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Lnk
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes everyday use
French Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots No Yes No Yes

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1210
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1980
Educational attainment Highers/A-levels
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Student
Place of birth York
Region of birth Yorkshire
Country of birth England
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Salesman
Father's place of birth York
Father's region of birth Yorkshire
Father's country of birth England
Mother's occupation Carer
Mother's place of birth York
Mother's region of birth Yorkshire
Mother's country of birth England

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1212

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1213

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1214
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1930
Age left school 14
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Clerkess
Place of birth Maryhill
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Clydebank
Region of residence Dunbarton
Residence CSD dialect area Dnbt
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Pattern maker
Father's place of birth Stornoway
Father's region of birth Western Isles
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Accountant
Mother's place of birth Maryhill
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes

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